What to drink with chicken

By TASTE, 22 September 2017

White meat, white wine, right? Not always, says Allan Mullins. Take the sauces and sides into account and you can absolutely pour a red with your chicken cordon bleu. Here’s how to do it…

PAIR HAUTE CABRIERE UNWOODED PINOT NOIR 2016, R89.95 with this meatloaf with tomato sauce recipe. Serving wine with tomato-based sauces can be tricky but make the right choice and it’ll be a triumph. Tomatoes have high acidity levels but cooking brings out their sugars and deeper flavours, which pair well with a wine’s fruitiness. Avoid oaked wines as their tannins will cause the tomato sauce to taste bitter. This Pinot Noir has an attractive bright red colour, making it a visual delight with the tomato sauce. Because it’s unwooded, it allows the delectable raspberry, cherry and cranberry aromas full rein on the nose, and these are repeated on the mellow fruit-filled palate.If you like this, try: Newton Johnson Felicite Pinot Noir 2016.PAIR FAIRVIEW SHIRAZ 2014, R79.95 with this dan-dan chicken with braised peanuts and turnip pickle recipe.The sprightly chicken with chilli, ginger, soya sauce, oyster sauce and lime, not to mention the piquant turnip pickle, needs taming as it will overpower and out-spice many red wines. The Fairview Shiraz will not clash with the zingy feistiness of the dish as it has the adequate clove and cinnamon spice, along with bright red juicy fruit and soft, rounded tannins. The gentle wood maturation of the wine provides a light nuttiness, which is a great foil for the braised peanuts.If you like this, try: Bellingham Homestead Shiraz 2016.PAIR MARRAS PIEKENIERSKLOOF GRENACHE 2016, R79,95 with this chicken “cordon bleu” recipe.Martin Lamprecht has made this Woolworths “craft” wine in tiny quantities from grapes grown on the Piekenierskloof mountain, the home of Grenache. The delightful mulberry and red cherry bouquet and the supple palate-feel attest to his tender loving care. These flavours add to and lift those of the cheese, ham and sage, while the key to this pairing is texture. The wine’s smooth succulence enhances the sensation of biting into the creamy lushness of ham and melted mozzarella. The savouriness of the beech-smoked ham is a foil for the subtle oakiness the wine has from gentle barrel maturation.If you like this, try: Leeuwenkuil Cinsault 2016.Discover more recipes featuring chicken here.

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The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.
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